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Our Creative Child Coordinator, Jackie, shares a couple of lovely examples of the importance of Creative Child and how we strive to have a positive impact on every child we work with.
"We have received wonderful feedback from the teachers, parents, artists and children involved in the project. The growth in confidence, imagination, and critical thinking skills has been evident in all 23 schools we've been working in.
A wonderful example of the impact of this project happened during a session at the Strand Arts Centre. One boy was finding it difficult to engage as he was nervous to get up on the stage. This boy has autism and found some elements of this day a little overwhelming. Christina, the artist running the session, was mindful of his feelings and wanted him to be able to engage in the workshop in a way that he was comfortable. She asked if he wanted to be the ‘lighting designer’ for the day. After some consideration he decided to give it a go. With the assistance of a Creative Child team member he ran the lights for his classmates and was delighted! He asked each of his classmates what colour they would like for their performance and was thrilled watching the lights change on his command. Not only was he excited about running the lights but he also was so excited for his classmates performing on stage. By the end of the session he had decided that he wanted to pursue a career in lighting design. He got involved in the workshop in a way that made him feel confident and a part of the group, it was truly wonderful to see. A few weeks later, at the feedback session with his teacher, she said he still talks about this day with great excitement and continues to see lighting design as a career path".
In the next example, we can see the power of having a child-led process, and how the programme is having a direct impact on creativity, confidence, and expression.
"At a nursery school's Extended Creative Experience session at An Chulturlann, one girl came out with the most brilliant suggestion when Stephen, the artist running the session, asked for ideas for a story to act out. She described a scary forest everyone would have to pass through but she knew a way they could all stay brave through the journey...the giant hand of bravery! She turned to the group and said ‘can’t you see it?! It's right there!’ as she pointed to the centre of the stage. She got the whole group to join it, raise their hands to the giant hand of bravery, and shout out ‘WE’RE NOT AFRAID!’ Her imaginative skills were absolutely tremendous, she had the whole group believing in her story because she had such confidence in her idea."